Lady Bottoms and Expats

  A  day like yesterday can only be experienced in a developing world country.  We started the day with a hour car ride, traveling about 10 miles to a local small clinic that is far removed from any main road.  We passed thru a game ranch and were able to view rhino, giraffes and monkeys in the distance.  The plan was to provide education about cervical cancer screening and female reproductive health.  Kenyan women are very private about these subjects and not acquainted with the frank manner that we employ to teach.  We finally settled on the generic term “lady bottoms” to refer to female reproductive parts. After meeting with the director of the hospital it became apparent that the staff and patients were not interested in just education but wanted us to actually perform the screening!  We spent the next 1/2 hour explaining that we did not come equipped with the supplies necessary to perform screening, only education.  But this is Kenya – where anything is possible.  One of the staff had already received a week long education about the screening process and had collected all of the supplies but found no willing patients.  That is until we Americans arrived.  At least 70 women and children were crowded in one small room waiting for us to speak and provide cervical cancer screening.  One final hurdle was the lack of a bright light for visualization.  We now have a new use for the flashlight app on the iphone!  3 hours, 50 patients and 2 sore neck/backs later we finished.  I have never seen women disrobe so quickly as they knew we were on a limited time due to our driver needing to leave at 4 pm.  One lady was undressing as another got dressed. We encouraged the local nurse to continue with her screening and refer to the local hospital in Nanyuki for treatment.  


It was Valentines Day here and Kenyans like to celebrate American holidays. In the evening, we ate a local restaurant run by a British Kenyan, along with many of the expat community. After having spent the past 2 weeks among locals, it seemed wierd to be among so many white faces.  However, lasagna was a nice change from the Kenyan diet.  Each of the expats had a different story to share with some of them having lived here their entire lives and some newly arrived and planning on making this their home. A ValImageentines Day that I will never forget.





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